Photo of Aaron Pallas

Aaron Pallas

Aaron Pallas is Professor of Sociology and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. He has also taught at Johns Hopkins University, Michigan State University, and Northwestern University, and served as a statistician at the National Center for Education Statistics in the U.S. Department of Education.

Recent Stories

The envelope, please…

They weren’t hermetically sealed. Photo: Malcolm Lidbury Ten weeks ago, I made some predictions about New York City’s 2013 proficiency rates on the New York State…

Why the NCTQ ratings won’t have much influence, now or later

How time flies. It’s been scarcely a month since the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) released its inaugural ratings of teacher-preparation programs across the country. Already, NCTQ is gearing…

The trouble with NCTQ’s ratings of teacher-prep programs

Yesterday, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) released its first national ratings of teacher-preparation programs. Passing judgment on 1,200 undergraduate and graduate programs across the country—but not other routes…

How will NYC students fare on the new exams?

Last month, the state of New York administered English Language Arts and mathematics assessments to students in grades 3-8. For the first time, the assessments were aligned with the Common…

The trouble with New York’s decision not to release test items

First Rule of Fight Club: Do Not Talk about Fight Club Second Rule of Fight Club: DO NOT TALK about Fight Club Has the New York State Education Department watched…

Who’s afraid of big data?

Nestled in a dusty corner of my office sits a safe, which requires both a key and a combination to open. Inside the safe sits an external hard drive containing…

Nineteen months of stonewalling by NYC Department of Education

It’s nearly springtime, when a young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). At least in odd-numbered years. I’m not so young, but lately…

Just how many ineffective teachers are out there?

How many New York City public schoolteachers are so incompetent that they should be fired? That’s the 250-million-dollar question that must be addressed by both sides wrangling over what kind…

It’s the curriculum, stupid

A thought-experiment: Ms. Wong is a fourth-grade teacher in Shanghai, and Ms. Stilton is a fourth-grade teacher in Ames, Iowa. Each has a class of 25 students, who on average…

Closing the achievement gap: Have we flat-lined?

The recent controversy over No Child Left Behind waivers has drawn attention to the intransigence of group differences in performance on NCLB-style standardized tests. As unrealistic as the NCLB goal…